Mayor cancels new surveillance program before it can take flight

POSTED: Friday, February 8, 2013 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, February 8, 2013 - 9:04pm

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced Thursday that the police department has ended its unmanned drone program.

"Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department's priority. The vehicles will be returned to the vendor," McGinn said in a released statement.

The Seattle Police Department is one of 50 organizations that received permission last year from the federal government to operate unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

City officials were in the process of developing rules for when and where Seattle police would operate the tiny surveillance drones before the Mayor's announcement.

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